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Remotely change local admin passwords.

Systems administrators that manage local administrative accounts on multiple computers regularly need to change the account password as part of standard security practices. PsPasswd is a tool that lets you change an account password on the local or remote systems, enabling administrators to create batch files that run PsPasswd against the computers they manage in order to perform a mass change of the administrator password.

Step #1

Download the pspasswd tool from Microsoft.

Go to http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals

Step #2

Copy the pspasswd.exe to the:

c:\windows\system32\

directory on your PC or server.

Step #3

Create a file called “Machinelist.txt” with PC names you wish to change the local admin passwords on; one PC per line.

Step #4

Create a batch file with code similar to this:  pspasswd.exe @machinelist.txt -u domain\administrator -p domainpassword administrator newpassword
echo “Complete”
pause

Step #5

Edit the batch file with the correct credentials and the new password information.

Step #6

Make sure the machines are online and then run the script. You need to use an account with domain administrator rights for the –u and –p parameters in order for this to run correctly.

Conclusion:

This is a very Quick, Simple, Effective method to manage local administrator passwords remotely.  PsPasswd uses the Windows password reset APIs, so it does not send passwords over the network in the clear.

How to set up a simple and reliable VOIP system for your house or small business.

VOIP

Using Skype on a computer to make calls is ok but being tied to the PC isn’t always convenient and you have to leave your power hungry PC running 24/7 so not to miss calls.

Solution:

The Freetalk phone adapter for Skype allows you to use your analog phones to make calls via Skype. You can call anyone else that is on Skype for free and if you have a Skype account or Skype credit you can make calls to landlines for great rates. I have an unlimited USA Skype account which cost $2.95 per month which gives me unlimited calls per month anywhere in the USA. I also purchased a Skype call-in number for an extra $30 per year which allows anyone to call me by simply dialing my Skype number. They have numbers available is almost every area code in the US.

The setup is very easy; you just need high speed internet service with an open Ethernet port and an available IP address on your router. You go to the web interface and put in your account info and you will be up and running in just a few minutes. When someone calls, the phones ring just like an older analog phone system. Making calls is also easy; just simply dial the number. The call quality is great assuming you have fast internet service. I created a Qos policy on my router but it wasn’t really needed.

Downside:

  • There is no E911 service but you have your cell phone for that.
  • No service during a power outage.

Upside:

  • Unlimited calling for about $5.45 per month!
  • Saves on cell minutes.
  • Saves on cell batteries.

Conclusion:

I have been paying about $5.45 per month for unlimited calls and my Skype number with all of the normal features you are used too. The adapter cost $39.99 but it is well worth the one time purchase. Since purchasing this system my cell phone usage has been way down while I am at home and it also saves the batteries on my power hungry Androids. I was paying around $550 per year for my home analog service but now I am paying $65.40 per year for my Skype account; an impressive savings!